Growing up, how much thought did we give to "later life"? As baby boomers, we were most likely so immersed in the "here and now", living our lives each day and being caught up in the moment - oh, so many moments! So thinking about what would happen, whom we would be and what we would do later on in our life - well, we'd think about that stuff later!
Now that even the youngest boomers are in their fifties, "later" has now arrived! Even for those with relatively similar origins, i.e., families, places and even educations, everyone's life path is decidedly different and perhaps held certain surprises along the way. A lot of us might have had certain goals, expectations and desires growing up, but the events of life - things that we made happen and things that happened to us - all have a way of twisting and turning the paths we've taken.
As baby boomers, our first priorities growing up were focused on our favorite toys, games, friends, TV shows, latest fashion trends, playing sports, dating, and our next homework assignment (school had to be in there somewhere). In our middle life, our focus had to shift to getting and holding a job, getting married and starting a family and then providing for them - at a minimum, we focused on how best to survive and if we were fortunate, how to get ahead and stay ahead. But now that us boomers have reached a later stage of life, i.e., at least the front doorstep, where do we find ourselves? How do we feel about where life has taken us? What do our values, hopes and fears look like now?
No matter our current age, we are each the direct product of our background, shaped by the people, events and things that have happened in our lives. To make these years our best ones yet, it's important that we recognize and accept certain realities. Some of us have already experienced the most challenging of all realities, such as a life-threatening illness or the passing of loved one(s). Such serious events remind us of our own mortality and just how fragile - and perhaps fleeting - life on this earth can be.
Given the hard realities we find in later life, it's essential for us to develop the proper perspective, identify our priorities and make certain preparations, all while appreciating - and enjoying - our lives to the fullest extent possible. As we've talked about elsewhere (scroll over to Meaning of Life and also to Relationship with God), having God in our life gives us the ultimate perspective for our earthly life, and then all else falls into place after that.
To help make the necessary decisions and preparations for later life and the circumstances we now embrace, learn more about Empty Nest, Downsizing, Retirement Calculator, Reverse Mortgage and Living Trust.